1 Tuesday, 2 December 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.54 a.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: I understand that the parties have some matters
6 to raise. Who's first? Mr. Ivetic.
7 MR. IVETIC: I guess I can begin. I may be the only one with
8 preliminary matters today, Your Honour. I just wanted to report back on
9 several matters. First of all, we did file the two filings yesterday
10 that Your Honour had suggested, so you ought to now have those so you can
11 have the full picture and ability to see what I was laying out in court
12 yesterday. I have spoken with both of the witnesses who were scheduled
13 for this week and have obtained the precise details of why they're
14 unavailable. The first, who is an attorney in Belgrade, is engaged on a
15 trial that he thought he could try to continue but he did not obtain a
16 continuance and therefore is engaged as an attorney rendering his
17 professional services in another trial that is ongoing this week. The
18 other --
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute.
20 MR. IVETIC: Yes.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: He's engaged in a trial. He tried to --
22 MR. IVETIC: Continue the trial.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- obtain a postponement.
24 MR. IVETIC: Yes.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: He wasn't successful. When he was -- when he
1 was asked to be a witness, I mean, were you aware of that?
2 MR. IVETIC: I was not. I was not, Your Honour. I was not,
3 Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, then, you should have. I mean, if he's an
5 attorney, and he's going to be a witness, I mean, why would you put him
6 down to testify without finding out about his availability? Is this the
7 first time that you're learning that he would be engaged in another
9 MR. IVETIC: No, Your Honour. Attorneys have --
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Because that's not proper management.
11 MR. IVETIC: Attorneys do have trials all the time, Your Honour.
12 But with the --
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, but when you put him down first as a
14 witness for this week, that should have been an inquiry. Are you free to
15 testify in the trial on such and such a date? The attorney says yes, so
16 that that must mean that he's not engaged in another trial, you know. So
17 it leads me to wonder whether this is something new, you know, whether he
18 wasn't aware from the very beginning that he was engaged in a trial or
19 whether he's simply disrespectful of these proceedings. That would not
20 be acceptable.
21 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, attorneys have trials all the time. In
22 my jurisdiction where I come from, and I know you don't want to hear
23 about jurisdictions, but have you to understand real life. These
24 proceedings are not taking place outside of real life. Witnesses have
25 lives. Witnesses have professional obligations. Things change. The
1 schedule changes very frequently. With the time-frame that we have in
2 this case --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: But, you see, you have not given me the proper
4 explanation. What I'm saying to you is that when you put him down as a
5 witness to appear in this trial on a particular date, I take it to mean
6 that he was free, but you have not said to me that since that time, some
7 commitment has arisen.
8 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, when we have to file things for this
9 court, we have to do them by the Thursday. I remind you again that we
10 had a week, approximately, between the filing of the 65 ter and the
11 filing of the witnesses for this week. During that week, my client tried
12 to contact one of our witnesses to see if he was available. The
13 Prosecution then issued a Rule 64 warning, and he was not allowed to call
14 anyone apart from myself here in the Hague, to talk with anyone for
15 almost a full week. He had to go on a hunger strike to try and get his
16 rights back. We finally got his rights back, and now we ask you, who can
17 he call to find out whether they're available? Because people are
18 intimidating our witnesses on the ground, so they have to have contact
19 with him to know that the people that are contacting them are legitimate
20 people. I was supposed to go on the terrain, as I mentioned yesterday.
21 I can't do that with this -- under this atmosphere.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Don't make wild allegations.
23 MR. IVETIC: About what?
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Of intimidation. If you have -- that's a
25 serious allegation.
1 MR. IVETIC: That's a serious allegation, and it's based upon
2 facts that I have, facts that I've talked with people. We have
3 intimidation, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: If you have the facts, bring them to the Court,
5 bring them to us.
6 MR. IVETIC: We will, Your Honour. We will, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: What about the other witness?
8 MR. IVETIC: The other witness, that was the individual from
10 probationary employment period he cannot take days off with less than
11 several weeks' notice. He had one week notice between the time-frame
12 when we sent him the filing and said that we were listing him as a
13 witness for these proceedings. And again, these were the two witnesses
14 that we believed we could file because we knew that they had passports,
15 we knew they had come to The Hague previously and were not of the
16 witnesses that we might have to strike from the list to meet the Court's
17 compliance with the 45 witnesses quota that was given to us, but again,
18 these are all factors that occur in a trial, that occur in a trial that
19 is not happening in a vacuum. You have to take things into account. You
20 have to take the outside world into account, people's personal lives,
21 people's professional lives --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Slow down, please.
23 MR. IVETIC: [Previous translation continues] ... by outside
24 factors outside of their control. This last week was completely outside
25 of our control. We did not --
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Again, the same question would arise.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Can you please slow down. It's really
3 impossible to interpret. Thank you very much.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: The same question would arise as to whether when
5 this witness was put down as a witness --
6 MR. IVETIC: We thought he could attend and he thought he could
7 attend. When he went to his employer, he found out that he could not
8 take days off. That's the problem with this witness.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's an inquiry that should have been made
11 MR. IVETIC: Again, Your Honour, but the time -- you're not
12 taking, I think, proper account of the time period involved, Your Honour,
13 with all the other things that we had to do during the short time period
14 that we had for this case. We had to put together the 65 ter list. We
15 had to start responding to the allegations of the Prosecution on various
16 levels. I've been doing e-mails --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Slow down, please.
18 MR. IVETIC: [Previous translation continues] ... basic
20 THE INTERPRETER: The interpretation will cease.
21 MR. IVETIC: I apologize. I'm getting emotional.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Don't get too excited.
23 MR. IVETIC: I agree.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm just saying that in the ordinary course of
25 events, that would be the first inquiry to make of a witness who is
1 employed, whether his employer will allow him to attend court. That's
2 the first inquiry to be made. But I just want to let you know that I
3 know that there are difficulties in obtaining witnesses. I worked as a
4 Crown counsel in my country, and I had problems with judges, and I can
5 tell you a very short story that in Jamaica Crown counsel was always
6 blamed for the absence of witnesses, and there's this particular judge,
7 who was very, very stern. Trial was set to start. Prosecution witness
8 is not available. And as usual, the judge turned on Crown counsel and
9 said, Mr. Brown, where are the witnesses? This Crown counsel who was
10 actually from Barbados
11 morning and turned in my bed, I did not see any of them.
12 So I'm very familiar with the problems relating to procuring
13 witnesses, but witnesses must appreciate that this is an international
14 tribunal established by the United Nations. It is not a social club.
15 MR. IVETIC: I agree. I agree.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: And when they are scheduled to attend, they have
17 an obligation to attend, and they will only be excused if good cause is
18 shown, and the last sanction which the Trial Chamber has and which will
19 only be used as a very last measure, if there is no good cause for the
20 witness to attend, is that that witness's time can be counted against the
21 time allocated to the Defence and the number of witnesses. So you must
22 always have a good cause for a witness not showing up. We will show you
23 the same consideration, give you the same leniency that we gave the
24 Prosecution, but it is not a good start --
25 MR. IVETIC: I agree.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- that your first two witnesses are
2 unavailable, Mr. Ivetic.
3 MR. IVETIC: I know, Your Honour, and I hope that once we have
4 time to go out on a train, meet with these people, then we will -- once
5 we get started, we will have a larger group of witnesses to choose from
6 for a week; and therefore, if one is unavailable, we can move them to the
7 end of the week, put another one forward, et cetera. Once we have a
8 larger pool of witnesses to work with in a given week, then I think a lot
9 of these problems with dissipate. The main problem is we only have these
10 two witnesses that we were able to put down for this week and both of
11 them are unavailable.
12 To also give more information about the last matter that I had
13 for today, I talked with Mr. Alarid yesterday and then I did also verify
14 his plane ticket here, and I misread it yesterday. He's actually
15 returning on the morning of Thursday, December the 4th, at 11.40 a.m.,
16 although the flight does leave the 3rd of December, I had misread it as
17 saying he was coming here the evening of the 3rd, but it's actually the
18 4th when he's arriving, Your Honours, and that's a matter that I know I
19 need to give to you.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: And therefore he will not be available to make
21 his opening?
22 MR. IVETIC: Yes, that's correct. That's correct, yes.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Would I be wrong in concluding, Mr. Ivetic, that
24 the Defence worked on the assumption that Mr. Cepic's case would take the
25 entire four weeks and, therefore, they were just -- you're just getting
1 yourself ready to begin on Monday?
2 MR. IVETIC: No, we foresaw that it might start this week. I
3 don't think we thought it was going to be undertaken in two days. Your
4 Honour said four weeks. I think you meant four days, but we prepared for
5 that, but again, we had so many things to do. I -- for one, I can tell
6 you I was in gaol every day last week dealing with Mr. Lukic and trying
7 to resolve the issue with the secretariat and trying to find out how we
8 can put witnesses on the list. We finally put witnesses on the list.
9 Now we've been working on trying to comply with the Court's order to try
10 and streamline the case as much as possible without impinging upon
11 Mr. Lukic's rights.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: You can't answer this, but --
13 MR. IVETIC: I just did.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- I mean, I still wonder how responsible it was
15 for Mr. Alarid to schedule his arrival here on Thursday morning when the
16 direction given by the Chamber made it plain that he should be ready to
17 start immediately following the closing of the case for Mr. Lukic,
18 Mr. Cepic's case.
19 MR. IVETIC: And Your Honours, always in a trial, when it's a
20 rolling date to say when another party finishes, which is beyond our
21 control, we have to guess at that, and sometimes we --
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, but if you understood that order, the
23 language is quite plain.
24 MR. IVETIC: Yes.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Clearly there was a possibility that Mr. Cepic
1 would close his case sometime before Thursday.
2 MR. IVETIC: Okay.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: And our time here is very important. We can't
4 waste it, and that is why the Trial Chamber --
5 MR. IVETIC: But Your Honour --
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- instructed that you should be ready to begin
7 your case so soon as Mr. Cepic closes, whether that was Tuesday or
8 Wednesday or Thursday, you should be ready, you know?
9 MR. IVETIC: And every other judge that Mr. Alarid is appearing
10 in front of in New Mexico has the same attitude, that he has to be
11 preparing cases. So his schedule ask such that he had to go back and he
12 had meet with the witnesses, he met with some expert witnesses of ours
13 that we have on the list, that were -- two, I think, have been approved
14 by the registry. The others we're preparing applications for them to be
15 approved on. He's doing work, Your Honour. He's doing work. He's not
16 on vacation. That's -- I don't want to make any --
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, but this work is paramount, and a counsel
18 who appears here must accept that. He either accepts that or he doesn't.
19 If he doesn't accept it, then he shouldn't be working here.
20 What is the next matter, Mr. Cepic? Yes, just a minute.
21 JUDGE VAN DER
22 You were saying, once we get started, then we can put on speed, but when
23 are you going to get started because it seems that you have not started
24 yet, that you can't start this week. Are you going to -- is that then a
25 moment we expect next week or when are you going to get started?
1 MR. IVETIC: Well, again, Your Honour, I indicated that I did not
2 get started because I could not move anywhere from The Hague last week,
3 so I could not go on the train to meet with witnesses and obtain their
4 passports, to submit them to the VWS for visas, to work with them on
5 statements for the ones that have statements, to prepare them to testify,
6 the job that a lawyer's supposed to do in this Tribunal. We're not
7 supposed to bring witnesses that we've never met before, Your Honour, and
8 because of the Prosecution's actions last week, we were unable to do
9 that. Hopefully if we have some time I can go on the weekend and meet
10 with four or five witnesses and have four or five witnesses for a week
11 and then have a continuing process. That's the way Defence teams work.
12 You have counsel, Defence counsel, interchanging roles, running out on to
13 trains to do things. That's the way we do them. I'm well aware of that.
14 I've been here for a number of years, and I just finished a trial that
15 lasted two and a half years, so that's what we do, and that's what we
16 were unable to do last week because of all the factors that we've
18 And again, I can't stress hard enough how -- what a unique
19 situation it was to have a client on hunger strike and having the
20 Prosecution object to a witness that he was contacting, that they knew
21 was one of our witnesses, that they even said, You can contact him. I --
22 Mr. Groome in the transcript is recorded as saying, You can contact him,
23 and then they object to it and we're not allowed to contact anyone. It's
24 a situation that caused a great deal of turmoil for us and made us unable
25 to prepare our case for this week. We had hoped to present two witnesses
1 that we could prepare under that time period, and now I'm meeting --
2 basically, I'm -- basically, I made a mistake by putting those two
3 witnesses on is -- is what I'm getting. That I should have had no
4 witnesses on the list because these witnesses are unavailable now, so
5 it's the same as if I had no witnesses on the list. But again, if I have
6 time, a weekend or -- if Mr. Cepic's case finishes early and we don't
7 have trial proceedings then I can go right away and then I can witnesses,
8 a group of witnesses for a week put together so that I can have a pool to
9 work from to say, okay, I have five or six witnesses that are available,
10 that have been notified to the Prosecution by the Thursday before,
11 because of course we have that obligation --
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: You'll be ready for Monday? I think that's the
13 question the Judge --
14 MR. IVETIC: I hope to be for -- with something, but I don't know
15 at this point in time, Your Honour, until I go out into the field. I
16 hope to have some witnesses, yes, but it all depends on a lot of things
17 and don't forget that it depends a lot on how fast the witnesses go, too.
18 We might have witnesses for part of the week but not the whole week. I
19 don't know ir as we stand right now. We haven't even decided what
20 witnesses I'm going to try and contact and get.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Monday's the holiday. It's Tuesday.
22 MR. IVETIC: Tuesday. That's the goal. I mean, obviously it's
23 always the goal to try and fill as much of the court time as possible
24 with live witnesses or with witnesses appearing by written statement
25 pursuant to 92 ter and 92 bis. That is the goal. That is the goal that
1 we have as Defence counsel, but we have all these other things working
2 against us, Your Honours, and that's what you have to take into account,
3 and that's what I'm presenting to you, and that's all I can do. That's
4 all I can do is present these things to you.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's only complaints that I've heard from you,
6 Mr. Ivetic.
7 JUDGE VAN DER
8 have an idea about what the witnesses are that you are going to bring
9 next week, or am I misunderstanding you? Will you by Thursday of this
10 week be able to produce a list?
11 MR. IVETIC: By Thursday of this week I have to produce a list,
12 correct, so then I will have a better idea, yes.
13 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, since it seems that I'm being blamed
14 for much of these problems --
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, no doubt about that.
16 MR. GROOME: -- I need to place a few things on the record. On
17 the 18th of November -- well, it seems that I'm being accused of impeding
18 the ability of Mr. Ivetic to contact the witness, and I flatly and
19 categorically deny anything like that.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: I didn't know that you had that power.
21 MR. GROOME: I don't have that power, and it's being attributed
22 to me under misrepresentations, and I had nothing to do with the timing
23 of this. On the 18th, the registrar, the deputy registrar contacted me
24 through a letter that was sent to counsel, I believe they knew this
25 before I did, informing me that Mr. Lukic had called the father of
1 Zehra Turjacanin pretending to be someone he wasn't, pretending to be in
3 about his son. This frightened the man. Alarms were raised with
4 registry, and both Defence counsel and I were notified about it. Three
5 hours after I received that letter, I filed a request freezing the
6 non-privileged phone calls of Mr. Lukic until the matter could be
7 investigated. At that stage, I did not have the translations of the
8 transcript of that telephone conversation.
9 At no time was the privileged communication between Mr. Ivetic
10 and Mr. Lukic interrupted, so I really fail to see how Mr. Ivetic claims
11 that he was unable to be in communication with his client outside of
12 The Hague
13 they were witnesses that had some relation to a Prosecution witness or
14 not, if he had that information, he was free to do that. He did not have
15 to go through me.
16 Yesterday, and I think an allusion was made to it today, that
17 this occasioned an awful lot of work on the part of the Defence team, I
18 would point out that the appeal of that procedure was made by Mr. Lukic
19 himself in a letter by himself. There were no filings related to this --
20 to my action, that letter, that were filed by either Mr. Ivetic or
21 Mr. Alarid. It was solely done by Mr. Lukic.
22 MR. IVETIC: And I guess --
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: We don't want to have to carry this thing on too
24 long. Do you have something to say?
25 MR. IVETIC: I know, Your Honour. Yes, I do, Your Honour,
1 because again, Mr. Groome is presenting thing that are not true. He
2 knows very well that I sent a cease and desist notice of several pages
3 and I had to meet with Mr. Alarid to discuss that. He knows these
4 things. He also ought to know that the only privileged communications
5 that Mr. Lukic can have are to the office here in The Hague. I stress
6 that again. These actions completely disrupted any ability to go out
7 into the terrain and do anything with witnesses, anything at all, and
8 it's something that if he doesn't know, now he should now.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: I think I've heard enough, Mr. Groome. I think
10 I've heard enough, thank you. Mr. Cepic.
11 MR. CEPIC: Our next witness. Good morning, Your Honours. Our
12 next witness is Mr. Branimir Bugarski.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
14 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I do have a couple of preliminary
15 matters. It will be very brief.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Well, let's hear them.
17 MR. GROOME: I think I'll be finished by the time the witness is
18 brought into the courtroom. Your Honours, last evening at 9.55 p.m., I
19 received a proofing note with respect to Mr. Bugarski, and I certainly
20 understand that when working with witnesses they inevitably provide
21 additional information just prior to appearing in court. I want to place
22 on the record in light of the many objections raised during the
23 Prosecution case regarding our supplying of proofing notes that for each
24 of the witnesses in the Sredoje Lukic case, the Prosecution received
25 proofing notes shortly before their testimony.
1 The second matter, Your Honour, that I'd like to raise has to do
2 with these documents authored by a priest in Krtinska, and my question
3 that I seek clarification from Mr. Cepic is, we've received two different
4 translations, two versions of translations of the document, one in which
5 the feast day is alleged to be just an ordinary feast day and another one
6 in which the feast day is alleged to be the village feast day of
7 Krtinska. It seems to be an important issue. I didn't object to the
8 priest not being here to introduce the document, but perhaps Mr. Cepic
9 can clarify it, why there are two different translations of the same
10 document with that -- what seems to be an important difference, and maybe
11 put my concerns at ease.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Cepic.
13 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, that document is already admitted.
14 Firstly, we received that document, the last document from the local
15 priest on 18th of November, just one day, actually on 17th of November,
16 just one day before our 65 ter submissions, so we just have a draft
17 translation, and later on we requested an official translation from ICTY
18 translation service. So the new translation is from official service of
19 this court, so that is the difference, and this new translation, official
20 translation, is in the system.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: And that's the one that should be followed.
22 MR. GROOME: And could I simply ask, then, is it the Defence
23 theory that the feast of the Holy Trinity is the village feast day of
24 Krtinska or is simply just an ordinary feast day in the Serbian Orthodox
1 MR. CEPIC: I think that Mr. Groome could find if answer in
2 yesterday's testimony of Mr. Zivkovic and in admitted exhibit. Thank
3 you. And I think that it is not the moment for final arguments.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: I agree. I agree, yes. Don't answer it.
5 Mr. Groome.
6 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, it's simply for me to know how to
7 question these witnesses. I don't know what the theory is. I've been
8 presented with contradictory translations of the same document. I'd like
9 not to have to object and ask that the priest be called to explain it,
10 but I mean, is the theory of the Defence that it is a village feast day
11 or is it not, or -- I mean, why are we receiving contradictory
12 information on what seems to be an issue?
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's not for you to ask. If the Chamber wishes,
14 we will ask for the matter to be clarified. For the moment, do you have
15 any other matter to raise?
16 MR. GROOME: No, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thanks.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Cepic kindly speak closer to the
20 microphone. He is barely audible to the interpreters. Thank you very
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
24 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
25 WITNESS: BRANIMIR BUGARSKI
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please sit, and you may begin, Mr. Cepic.
3 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Examination by Mr. Cepic:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Bugarski.
6 A. Good morning.
7 Q. For the record, please state your full name.
8 A. Branimir Bugarski.
9 Q. Thank you. Please, would you give me the place and date of your
11 A. 19th of October, 1950.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. CEPIC: Could we have in e-court system document number ID
14 number 2D05-0272. That is the version in B/C/S, and the English version
15 is 2D04-0109, please. And in the meantime, could the court usher pass
16 this hard copy of the witness statement to the witness.
17 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Bugarski, did you give in January 2008 a
18 written statement to Mr. Sredoje Lukic's Defence team?
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 Q. Did you on the 1st December meeting, yesterday's meeting, with
21 Defence team sought to alter some of the things in the statement?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You have this written statement in front of you. Did you, with
24 respect to the last sentence in the seventh paragraph, which reads:
25 "Milojko's son Dejan was also present there and they explained to me what
1 happened ..."
2 Did you want to explain who explained what?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Could you please tell us who explained this to you.
5 A. Milojko Popadic.
6 Q. Thank you. And with respect to paragraph 9, the sentence: "We
7 had agreed earlier that I would prepare food for them, pork, to be
8 precise, so that they could put it in a freezer and bring it to their
9 family in Visegrad." Did you want to explain more precisely who
10 contacted you and who sought the pork?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Who was that?
13 A. Sredoje Lukic.
14 Q. Thank you. In relation to the last sentence of paragraph 9:
15 "After this conversation, they got into their vehicle and left
16 Obrenovac." Did you want to state what you were told by them to the
17 effect that they did not say precisely where they went but they had to go
18 there? Was that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Mr. Bugarski, if I were to ask you the same questions, apart from
21 the alterations that you just stated, same questions when I interviewed
22 you during you giving the statements, would you provide the same answers
23 here today as you did on that other occasion?
24 A. Yes. The same.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... statement as
2 evidence with your leave.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
4 MR. CEPIC: Thank you.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Cepic, what did you say?
6 MR. CEPIC: I kindly ask admission of this statement.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, yes. I said yes.
8 MR. CEPIC: Thank you.
9 THE REGISTRAR: That's Exhibit 2D47, Your Honours.
10 MR. CEPIC: Could we have in e-court system document ID number
11 2D03-0266, in English is 67.
12 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Bugarski, who signed this certificate?
13 A. I did.
14 Q. No, no. I'm not asking you about the witness statement. Take a
15 look at this screen. I'm sorry. I didn't instruct you to do so. Do you
16 see a document on the screen?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you see who signed it?
19 A. This certificate was signed by our pastor, priest,
20 Petar Paraklis.
21 Q. Who is he? What is he the pastor of?
22 A. He's from Urovci-Krtinska parish, and he's the priest in my
23 village, Krtinska.
24 Q. Mr. Bugarski, it is seen here that your local priest certified
25 that all the households celebrate the village feast day of Pentecost, the
1 Trinity, the Most Holy Trinity.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Could you tell us, are these celebrations individual or for the
4 whole village?
5 A. Holy Trinity is the village feast.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, I kindly ask for admission of this
8 exhibit, and I see that Mr. Groome is on his feet.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let us hear who Mr. Bugarski is. Did you have
10 that already?
11 MR. CEPIC: I'm sorry?
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: What work does he do, Mr. Bugarski?
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Am I being asked this question?
15 May I answer?
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, yes.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm a salesman.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: And do you know the priest -- do you know the
19 priest, Mr. Paraklis?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: And what kind of priest is he? Of what church?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He's a priest of the Orthodox
23 church. He came there. He built an Orthodox church there -- well, he
24 managed, and two villages of Krtinska and Urovac [as interpreted] for the
25 services of those two villages.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, I think that I may clarify the confusion
3 which --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Inaudible. Please speak into the microphone.
5 MR. CEPIC: So it is the wrong translation. So I would ask the
6 witness to read the certificate in B/C/S. I found mistake now, and I
7 apologize now for this omission from my Defence team.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: You're asking him to read it in B/C/S so we can
9 have it translated?
10 MR. CEPIC: Yes, Your Honour, with your leave.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Go ahead.
12 MR. CEPIC: Thank you.
13 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Bugarski, because of mistranslation, could
14 you please read this certificate in Serbian?
15 A. Certificate: Issued pursuant to the request of Mr. Branko
16 Bugarski from Krtinska, Dorcula 65, Obrenovac municipality.
17 Village of Krtinska
18 in it all the household heads celebrate the descent of the host
19 Holy Trinity, and the household head, stated above, also celebrates the
20 Patron Saint's Day of the St. Stephen of Decani. The parish hereby
21 confirms and certifies that the above is accurate, certified by the
22 Urovci-Krtinska parish priest, Petar Paraklis.
23 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Bugarski.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Whose statement is this? Is it the statement of
25 this witness or of the priest?
1 MR. CEPIC: From the priest. He just read the -- he just read
2 this certificate from the priest.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: It is the priest's certificate. Is he
4 available, the priest?
5 MR. CEPIC: I can contact him.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: He would be the best person to give this
7 evidence, it would seem to me.
8 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE VAN DER
10 Has the statement of this witness been uploaded in e-court? Because I'm
11 trying to find it, and I can't find it. Maybe it's my lack of
12 technological awareness.
13 MR. CEPIC: I'll try to assist you, Your Honour. The ID number
14 is 2D05 --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 MR. CEPIC: I'm sorry. 2D05-0272 in B/C/S, and in English, it's
18 JUDGE VAN DER
19 documents nor in the Defence release documents, but maybe I need some
20 assistance from the --
21 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Cepic.
23 MR. CEPIC: Thank you. Thank you, Your Honour. Your Honour, I
24 kindly ask for admission of this certificate, of course, to keep reserve
25 for additional translation for the -- from the official service.
1 MR. GROOME: Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
3 MR. GROOME: I would ask two things. One, I would ask that it be
4 marked for identification until we have the correct translation. I don't
5 think it'd be wise to admit something that we now know is an erroneous
6 translation. And secondly, I would ask Mr. Cepic -- we admitted a
7 similar document yesterday. I would ask that that document be reviewed,
8 and if it, too, has an error in its translation, I would ask that
9 Mr. Cepic bring that to our attention so that the Chamber may deal with
10 that properly.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's the hospital record?
12 MR. GROOME: No, Your Honour. Another certificate from the same
13 priest was introduced with, I believe, the first witness, Mr. Zivkovic,
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see. Okay. We'll mark it for identification,
16 pending translation from the services.
17 JUDGE VAN DER
18 now retrieved the document that you referred to in e-court and it's
19 another document, so this is not the statement of this witness, document
20 2D05-0272. I was trying to follow. I'm sorry.
21 MR. CEPIC: I apologize, Your Honour. This is a version in
22 B/C/S. Maybe I made confusion. In English is 2D04-0109. Witness
23 statement, and it is on our screens now.
24 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: The registrar's going to print the document for
2 MR. CEPIC: Thank you. And I apologize, I'm not so skillful with
3 these electronic devices.
4 JUDGE VAN DER
5 MR. CEPIC: I'm trying to do my best. Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Popadic [as
7 interpreted]. I have no further questions for you.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome.
9 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Cross-examination by Mr. Groome:
11 Q. Mr. Bugarski, I'm to your right. I'm Dermot Groome, and I'm
12 going to ask you some questions on behalf of the Prosecution. The first
13 question I'd like to ask you is, you've told us that by profession you're
14 a salesman. What do you sell?
15 A. I'm a salesman. I have cattle feed in my store, concentrates for
16 cattle feed.
17 Q. And where do you currently live?
18 A. In Krtinska.
19 Q. And do you live in the same home that you lived in in 1992?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you have a phone in the house?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did you have a phone in the house in 1992?
24 A. No.
25 Q. You've lived all of your life in Krtinska; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Do you consider yourself to be a man who enjoys good health?
3 A. Well, I have blood pressure a bit on the high side, but that's
4 because of my advanced age.
5 Q. But aside from the high blood pressure that many of us get as we
6 age, you have no other ailments that you suffer from. Is that correct?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Now, I want to discuss with you your relationship to
9 Sredoje Lukic. Am I correct in saying that you know him for over 25
11 A. I'm not sure whether it's 25 years, but I've known him since 1983
12 or 1984. I can't be more precise. When he got married. I've known him
13 ever since he got married.
14 Q. And throughout that period of 24, 25 years, you've always enjoyed
15 good relationships with him and his family. Is that correct?
16 A. Yes. From that point onwards, because I had known his wife from
17 before. She is the sister of my brother-in-law's wife. My wife's
18 brother's sister-in-law is his wife.
19 Q. Okay. I think I understand that. Have you celebrated holidays
20 with Sredoje Lukic's family?
21 A. Yes. Well, mostly at Milojko Popadic's.
22 Q. And when's the last time you celebrated a holiday with
23 Sredoje Lukic and his family?
24 A. And can't say precisely. It was usually around St. George's
25 because my brother-in-law celebrates that holiday.
1 Q. And is that St. George's Day this past year -- or I'm sorry, did
2 you celebrate St. George's Day --
3 A. No, no. Well, before the war.
4 Q. Did you ever celebrate Vidovdan with him or St. Vitus's Day?
5 A. Well, in my village we do not celebrate St. Vitus's Day. It's
6 just a holiday that we acknowledge, but we do not celebrate it specially
7 in my village.
8 Q. When you say that it's not celebrated in your village, are you
9 saying that it's the custom that no one in the village would celebrate
10 Vidovdan Day?
11 A. In my village, nobody celebrates Vidovdan. We just don't work on
12 that day. It is a major holiday of ours, and nobody works on that day.
13 Well --
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Cepic.
15 MR. CEPIC: I'm sorry. I think that we have a problem in
16 transcript. It is quite --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Inaudible.
18 MR. CEPIC: -- it is quite different from B/C/S in English.
19 Second sentence on 25th page, line 1, in my village nobody celebrates
20 Vidovdan. We just don't work on that day. Witness said [B/C/S spoken].
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: According to Mr. Cepic,
22 what is that supposed to mean, unless it means "nobody works."
23 MR. CEPIC: It is different meaning than nobody works, but is the
24 issue -- maybe better -- it would be better translation, "acknowledge of
25 that holiday," or something like commemorate.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Cepic is inaudible. Could he kindly speak
2 into the microphone, please.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Cepic, you're being asked to speak into the
4 microphone. What do you say is the correct translation?
5 MR. CEPIC: Witness did not say "nobody works on that day." He
6 said something like -- I'll try to be interpreter. Acknowledge that
7 holiday or -- I need assistance from Mr. -- commemorate.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: That nobody commemorates that day?
9 MR. CEPIC: No one commemorate that day but they acknowledge that
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's not commemorated but it's acknowledged.
12 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, may I make a suggestion. It's quite
13 difficult to conduct an examination and have lengthy discourses about
14 possible different interpretations. There's actually a procedure for
15 doing this. There's a sheet of paper which Mr. Cepic can take. He can
16 simply mark the line that he has issue with, mark what he thinks is the
17 error, and then that will be reviewed by the interpreters and the
18 transcript recorders during the course of the day, and it seems to me
19 that we should be bound by the professionals that are sitting in the
20 booth and not be entering into a discourse in the middle of my
21 examination about what a particular word might mean. I'd ask that we
22 follow the procedure designated for this.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, I agree, Mr. Cepic. There is a procedure
24 to be followed, so unless it is something that is particularly urgent and
25 of great significance to the understanding of the evidence, please follow
1 that procedure.
2 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour, and just one sentence with
3 your leave. Just to avoid any misleading later for cross-examination of
4 Mr. Groome. That is the point why I raise that issue. Thank you,
5 Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Cepic.
7 MR. GROOME:
8 Q. Sir, I want to take you to your statement which is now in
9 evidence. In paragraph 8 of your statement, you say: "Sredoje Lukic
10 would occasionally go to Visegrad, and he would usually call me when he
11 was coming or going."
12 Do you recall saying that in your statement?
13 A. Yes, but I don't know what it refers to.
14 Q. Could I ask --
15 A. Could you please expound on that, please?
16 Q. Let me call it up in front of you so you can actually see the
17 statement that you signed.
18 MR. GROOME: Could I ask that we see paragraph 8 of the
20 Q. While that's being called up, I believe it refers to the period
21 of time in the spring, summer, of 1992 that you were referring, but we're
22 calling it up now, and you should see it on your screen in front of you
23 in the next few seconds.
24 While it's being called up, let me ask you a couple of other
25 questions. During -- you also say in your statement that during this
1 period, spring, summer of 1992, Sredoje Lukic was looking for work in
3 A. That's correct. It is correct that he was trying to get
4 employment in Belgrade
5 parents' home and after he stabilized after the problems he'd had, as far
6 as I know he would go to Belgrade
7 trying to get employment using the services of a relative that he had
8 over there.
9 Q. And we heard about some of that yesterday. Could you ask you to
10 please, if possible, answer my question yes or no or as briefly as you
11 can. We are -- we do have to be mindful of the time here. Was it your
12 understanding that he was unemployed at this time?
13 A. Well, that was my understanding because he had come from Visegrad
14 with the intention of not going back there, and his plans were to try to
15 find a job in Belgrade
16 Q. And do you know if during this period his wife Vidjenka was
18 A. No, she was not employed.
19 Q. Okay. Sir, now paragraph 8 is up on the screen in front of you.
20 MR. GROOME: Could I ask that we move down a little bit so the
21 witness can see paragraph 7 as well. Oh, it's on another page?
22 Q. Sir, let us know if you want to look at paragraph 7, but let's
23 see if that doesn't remind you of the context in which you said that:
24 "Sredoje Lukic would occasionally go to Visegrad and he would usually
25 call me when he was going or coming" -- or "coming or going." Do you
1 remember saying that?
2 A. Yes, I do recall that.
3 Q. So my question for you, sir, is if he was out of work, if he was
4 looking for work in Belgrade
5 was returning, coming and going from Visegrad during this period?
6 A. Can I now? Can I --
7 Q. Yes. Do you know? If you know.
8 A. Well, what you asked me about happened afterwards when he could
9 not find employment in Belgrade
10 find a job in Belgrade
11 looking for work in Belgrade
12 traveling to Belgrade
13 Q. So, sir, when he was going and coming from Visegrad, what was
14 it -- what was your understanding about why he was going and coming from
16 A. Well, to work, I suppose.
17 Q. Now, you're aware of the incident in which Sredoje Lukic and
18 Niko Vujicic were held captive and tortured by Muslims in Visegrad. Is
19 that not correct?
20 A. Well, I saw it on RTS television in April. It was an afternoon
21 when I saw Sredoje and some other people on TV.
22 Q. So you were aware of it. So my question to you is, is can you
23 describe what Sredoje Lukic was like after that incident? Did you notice
24 a noticeable change in him as a result of that incident?
25 A. Are you asking me about that footage or did I see it on TV
2 Q. No, not about the footage itself. I'm asking you about when you
3 met or saw Sredoje Lukic after that incident, after he was released, did
4 you notice any differences in him, in his personality, in his behavior,
5 after having undergone that torture and being burnt by these Muslim
7 A. Well, I noticed when he came to visit his family a day or two
8 after that TV broadcast, my wife had gone to visit her brother, and I saw
9 that he was despondent, in a bad mood, even afraid, and he even showed me
10 certain scars on his arms.
11 Q. And what -- you've made some motion to both of your wrists. What
12 were the scars that you observed on his body?
13 A. Well, I saw redness of skin. I asked him what was this all
14 about. He said, I was tied up.
15 Q. Did you see where he had been burned?
16 A. Well, I saw when he raised his shirt that he had visible
18 Q. And could you describe those injuries for us?
19 A. Well, there were bruises, and there was redness, the same as I
20 had seen on the TV footage.
21 Q. Did he express any anger at what -- about his treatment?
22 A. I don't know. I can't remember if he was angry, but he was
23 despondent, very silent. I could see that something was going on. I
24 mean, I didn't spend a long time with him, perhaps an hour before I went
1 Q. Thank you. Am I correct in saying that you are the
2 brother-in-law of the next witness, Milojko Popadic?
3 A. He's my brother-in-law.
4 THE INTERPRETER: The witness is making distinction between terms
5 of relation that do not exist in English.
6 MR. GROOME:
7 Q. So to be clear, you are married to his sister, Milojka?
8 A. Yes. Yes.
9 Q. You didn't provide that information in your statement. The
10 statement that we have before you, you don't inform us that you have that
11 relationship to Mr. Popadic. Is that correct?
12 A. Well, nobody asked me. I don't know.
13 Q. Can I ask you to describe your relationship with
14 Veroljub Zivkovic.
15 A. Well, Veroljub Zivkovic lives in the same village as I do. Not
16 in the same hamlet, though. He lives on a farm, an agricultural property
17 called Mladost. We've known each other --
18 Q. I'm sorry. I interrupted you. I was going to ask you, how long
19 have you known Mr. Zivkovic?
20 A. Well, forever, since he was born. It's the same village, only a
21 different hamlet. He was born on the Mladost property. I was born in
22 Krtinska hamlet. That's how we know each other.
23 Q. Have you always enjoyed a good relationship with him and his
25 A. Depends on how you understand it. We are on good business terms.
1 He's a good locksmith and autobody repairman, and Milojko Popadic, as you
2 know, a haulier. He has many trucks and whenever something would break
3 down, he would give it to Veroljub to repair. I brought two trucks to my
4 own son when he turned 18, and Veroljub set these trucks right, put them
5 in good shape. Now he's working somewhere else.
6 Q. Sir, just so you understand how it works here, it takes a few
7 seconds before I actually hear what you say, so the long pause is not me
8 waiting for you to answer more. It's simply me waiting to hear, so
9 again, if I could ask you to please try to keep your answers brief and
10 allow me to ask follow-up questions. Thank you, sir.
11 I want to now ask you about where Sredoje Lukic lived in
12 Obrenovac when he moved his family. Can you tell us where he lived when
13 he first came to Obrenovac in 1992?
14 A. Well, in the month of March, he brought his family, that's to say
15 his wife and children, and his brother. I saw him then when he arrived
16 in the end March, bringing his wife and children.
17 Q. And he first lived in the house of Mr. Popadic; is that correct?
18 A. Popadic, yes.
19 Q. Subsequently, he moved to an apartment that you owned that used
20 to be your parents' home or apartment, correct?
21 A. [In English] Yeah.
22 Q. What's your best memory as to when he moved from the Popadic
23 house to the apartment that you owned?
24 A. [Interpretation] Towards the end of April, 1992.
25 Q. Was he paying you rent?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Am I correct in thinking that at that time there were a number of
3 Serb families living in Eastern Bosnia that were moving to the Belgrade
4 area and it would have been possible for you to have allowed a -- it
5 would have been possible for you to have rented out that apartment for
6 some money? Is that correct?
7 A. Yes, but at that time it was the beginning of the war, and the
8 circumstances were straight. It's not really well seen in our parts to
9 make a profit on somebody who is in a bad situation.
10 Q. Sir --
11 A. So --
12 Q. How long did he remain in your apartment altogether?
13 A. From the end of April, he stayed perhaps until the end of
14 October, I'd say, if I'm not mistaken. I know that his daughter Bojana
15 started the second year of school while living our village, and then
16 after that they left.
17 Q. So he stayed in your apartment until October 1992. Is that
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, you just said, and I see it in your statement, that
21 Sredoje's brother also moved to Obrenovac. Which brother was that? What
22 was the name of that brother?
23 A. Not that I know of. I don't know that his brother moved to
24 Obrenovac. Instead --
25 Q. Well, sir, let me read what you have -- what you have in
1 paragraph 3 of the statement which is in evidence. It says: "In March
2 1992, Sredoje Lukic's family came to Obrenovac, as did his brother's
3 family." Do you remember saying that in your statement?
4 A. That's true, but they only came together for an hour or two. I
5 don't know if they spent the night at Milojko Popadic's house. All I
6 know is that when I went to visit, they were no longer there. Only
7 Sredoje's family was there. They could have moved on to Belgrade,
8 perhaps. I don't know.
9 Q. Okay, that clears that. I wanted to talk to you now about the
10 feast of the Holy Trinity. What day -- the Holy Trinity occurs on a
11 different date each year. Is that not correct?
12 A. Not really. The Holy Trinity's always on a Sunday, always on a
13 Sunday. Only the dates are different, 50 days from Easter.
14 Q. Okay. So some years it might be the 12th of June, the 16th of
15 June. It could even be in May depending upon if Easter comes early in a
16 particular year. Is that correct?
17 A. I'm not sure about May, but perhaps.
18 Q. What day was the feast of the Holy Trinity on in the year 2000?
19 Do you know what date, what date in June?
20 A. Which day?
21 Q. Did you know the date, the numerical date?
22 A. No, no. I would have to look up a calendar.
23 Q. Would you be able to tell me what date it fell on in 1995, or am
24 I correct in assuming that you'd have difficulty doing that as well?
25 A. No, I can't do that. You can see it in the church calendar.
1 Q. Sir, who told you that in 1992 the feast of the Holy Trinity fell
2 on the 14th of June?
3 MR. CEPIC: Excuse me. Objection.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes?
5 MR. CEPIC: This question is misleading because this witness
6 never mentioned 14th of June in his statement. He just mentioned Holy
7 Trinity celebration.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Where is that from, Mr. Groome?
9 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, if I may have a minute to check the
11 Q. So, sir, is it your evidence that you do not know the date of the
12 Holy Trinity in 1992?
13 A. Well, now I know.
14 Q. Okay. Now, my question to you is, now that you know, who told
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: How did he find out?
17 MR. GROOME:
18 Q. How did you find out?
19 A. Well, I found out from a calendar provided by - I don't know who
20 it was provided by, and you can look it up at my parents' calendar - they
21 keep all this stuff. And I saw it here. It's somewhere -- lawyer Cepic
22 has it, and he told me that.
23 Q. So it was Mr. Cepic that informed you that the feast of the
24 Holy Trinity fell on the 14th of June in 1992?
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
1 MR. CEPIC: This is misleading of witness. Witness clearly
2 stated in his statement, he never mentioned 14th of June, and now
3 Mr. Groome putting his word to him. The statement is clear.
4 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the lawyer [sic] has just said:
5 "Lawyer Cepic has it, and he told me that." I'm simply confirming what
6 the witness has said. I'm not confined to what has been placed in this
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's quite so. The question is based on the
9 answer provided by the witness, Mr. Cepic, so it's not objectionable.
10 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, with your leave, but in a moment of --
11 in a moment of when he gave the statement, he didn't know that.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, it's true. It's not in the statement. I
13 don't see it in the statement, 14th of June, but the evidence that has
14 been led in cross-examination provides a foundation for the question.
15 MR. CEPIC: Yes, but he said that on preparation he saw the
16 church calendar.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, but he just told Mr. Cepic [sic] that a
18 lawyer told him.
19 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: So that is why Mr. Groome is asking the
21 question. It's based on his answer, the witness's answer.
22 Yes, Mr. Groome.
23 MR. GROOME:
24 Q. Sir, when did Mr. Cepic tell you that it was the 14th of June?
25 Was it the first time you met him or some subsequent time?
1 A. Well, what date was it -- practically yesterday.
2 Q. Practically yesterday. So yesterday, Mr. Cepic told you that it
3 was --
4 A. I saw it, also, on this calendar, a photocopy of the calendar.
5 Q. Which calendar are you referring to? Who showed you a calendar?
6 A. There's a copy here, I don't know if you can show it on the
7 screen, a copy of an Orthodox church calendar for the month of June 1992.
8 Q. I believe we have seen that. It's in evidence. So my question
9 to you is, who showed you that calendar?
10 A. Well, Mr. Cepic showed me.
11 Q. Okay. Sir, now, I want to talk to you about celebrations in the
12 Serb Orthodox church in general. Would I be correct in saying that Serbs
13 are a people who enjoy their friends, their families, and enjoy many
14 celebrations throughout the year?
15 A. Right.
16 Q. I need for the record to record --
17 A. Yes, yes.
18 Q. And there are some holidays that everyone who is Serb Orthodox
19 celebrates, there are holidays that families celebrate, and there are
20 holidays that villages celebrate, correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Would you be able to estimate approximately how many different
23 celebrations you, your family, would celebrate over the course of a year?
24 A. My family, my household has one family patron saint's day.
25 That's St. Stephen of Decani, and we have the celebration of the
1 Holy Trinity with the whole village, and we take several non-working days
2 in a year. There is a difference between a celebration and a day off.
3 Q. So, sir, my question to you is, is the -- we have your statement
4 about what happened in 1992. Why are you so sure that it happened on the
5 feast of the Holy Trinity and not one of the other many celebrations or
6 feasts that are celebrated by Serbs?
7 A. Well, if you could clarify a little what happened. If you could
8 be more precise. I don't know what you mean.
9 Q. Well, we have your statement which records how Sredoje Lukic and
10 Mr. Popadic came to your house one evening after an argument at the
11 store. My question to you is, why are you so sure 15 years later that it
12 was the feast of the Holy Trinity and not one of the other feasts that
13 are celebrated by Serbs?
14 A. Well, I can remember that year because in my household, in my
15 broader family, some difficult things happened. I was in mourning for my
16 dead brother, my brother who had died the previous year in November; and
17 in March 1992, the son of my wife's brother died. He had been wounded,
18 and he could not be transported to Sarajevo and on to Uzice and he died
19 from his wounds, so both my wife and I were in mourning. This incident
20 had happened in Sokolac. It was Zjelko Popadic who died. So, that year
21 was really hard for me.
22 Q. Sir, just let me ask you a quick question about this nephew who
23 died. Was he killed during the conflict?
24 A. He is the nephew of my wife. He is the son of her brother.
25 Q. I understand. Now, was he killed in the conflict?
1 A. Not in the conflict. If you want to be precise, he was a
2 receptionist in a hotel, and what exactly happened, I don't know. All we
3 know is that he was wounded, and he was driven away towards Sarajevo.
4 There was some roadblocks. He was turned back towards Uzice. They ran
5 into another roadblock. He died, and he was buried there.
6 Q. Was that a natural death, or was he killed by someone?
7 A. Well, I know he was wounded, but how exactly that happened,
8 whether it was some sort of clash or a conflict, I don't know.
9 Q. Do you know if the people that wounded him were Muslims?
10 A. I wouldn't know. Some people said that it was a self-inflicted
11 wound. Other people said he was wounded in a skirmish. There were
12 contradicting stories.
13 Q. And the roadblocks that prevented him from getting to Sarajevo
14 for treatment, were they roadblocks that were set up by Muslim forces?
15 A. You know, I really can't tell you now. I don't know if they were
16 Muslims or the other ones. What I don't know, I really don't know.
17 Q. And if you don't know, just please, let me know, and I'll ask you
18 another question. Now, the argument that occurred between Sredoje Lukic
19 and the shopkeeper on what you say is Holy Trinity Day, I want to be
20 clear. You were not present in the grocery store when there was this
21 argument over a deposit for some beer bottles, were you?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Now, Mr. Zivkovic, the only witness to personally witness it,
24 does not characterize it as a very serious dispute. Am I correct that
25 your only connection with this incident is that sometime later in the
1 evening Sredoje Lukic and Milojko Popadic came to your home and mentioned
2 it to you? Is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Who told you? Sredoje or Milojko?
5 A. Milojko told me.
6 Q. Did Milojko say that he was present during the dispute?
7 A. He didn't tell me he had been present. Do you want a longer
8 explanation, or do you want a yes or no answer?
9 Q. A yes or no will suffice. How long did it take them to tell you
10 what happened?
11 A. Well, we stayed together for about ten minutes.
12 Q. Was that the only thing that you spoke about during that ten
14 A. Yes. We talked only about that.
15 Q. It seems that the whole exchange only took a few minutes, the
16 dispute over the bottles, so are you saying that it took ten minutes for
17 them to tell you about this dispute over the beer bottles?
18 A. They were not telling me about beer bottles. If you want me to
19 be precise, outside my yard a red Aleko vehicle stopped, and it was
20 driven by Milojko Popadic. I was sitting outside on the terrace with my
21 guests, and I looked outside, and it seemed strange to me that
22 Milojko Popadic was driving Sredoje's car. So they stopped outside my
23 gate. Milojko, Sredoje, and Sredoje's -- and Milojko's son came out.
24 They greet my children, and I motioned with my hand for Milojko to come
25 up. It's strange to me that he's not coming out. I -- and he shows me
1 with his hand I'm not coming.
2 Q. Sir, what time did they arrive at your house?
3 A. It's hard to say what time it was. It was summer time. The
4 first dusk. It was already getting dark. I can't tell you how -- I
5 can't tell you the hour, but it was already getting dark.
6 Q. Did you offer them a drink?
7 A. I didn't have time because he wouldn't come out of the car,
8 although I was motioning him to get out, and he was saying, Let go, I
9 don't want to drink, I have problems. I asked, With whom? And he said,
10 With Sredoje up there at Mladost. He went into a shop to get some drink,
11 and it turns out he had a quarrel with a shopkeeper about some packaging.
12 He wouldn't give him the beer without the packaging, and so he wouldn't
13 come out. He was supposed to drive Sredoje to the house where he lived.
14 Q. We have that in your statement. Sredoje did get out of the car,
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did it appear that he had been drinking?
18 A. Well, he was a bit -- not much, but as he was coming out, my son
19 grabbed him by the upper arm. Sredoje was always a cheerful man. I
20 wouldn't say he was drunk, but he was -- he had had a few drinks,
22 Q. And Milojko Popadic, he the same, he had had a few drinks?
23 A. No, no. He was only angry, but I wouldn't say he had been
25 Q. And how about yourself? Did you have any drink to celebrate
1 Holy Trinity feast?
2 A. That year, I didn't really feel like drinking.
3 Q. So, sir, is it your testimony that this brief conversation of
4 about ten minutes about this dispute over a deposit for a crate of beer
5 bottles left such an impression upon you that you have a clear and vivid
6 memory of it 16 years later?
7 A. Well, you know, what struck me was that somebody came up to my
8 door and didn't come in and didn't want to join us for that celebration.
9 We spent more time arguing about why he wouldn't come out than about the
10 incident itself.
11 Q. So what's more memorable to you is not what they said about the
12 dispute at the store but the fact that you offered them a drink and they
13 did not come into your house, they just kept going. Is that your
15 A. Yes. They were standing there, but they didn't really come into
16 the house, and I remember the reason why they didn't come in.
17 Q. Sir, I must put it to you plainly. I submit that something like
18 offering hospitality to guests who arrive at our homes and it's politely
19 refused is a rather common occurrence, and I submit to you that it's
20 implausible that you could have such a vivid memory of this event 16
21 years after the fact.
22 A. Well, I remember it because there are several things there during
23 that holiday that moved me, and I remember that year. That year for us
24 was --
25 Q. Sir, what was the weather that evening?
1 A. Well, maybe it's silly to talk about it. I didn't think about
2 that. June is always shifty. Holy Trinity is in June. In June, there's
3 usually a development of clouds in the afternoons --
4 Q. Sir, it seems that you don't have a vivid or clear memory about
5 the weather that day, and what you're advising me now is how the weather
6 in June is generally, correct?
7 A. As I said, the weather was changing. There was some clouds.
8 There was probably some rain, light rain, but I really cannot remember,
9 but I do believe that there was some cloud.
10 Q. Okay. Sir, do you know a name [sic] by a name of
11 Dragoljub Stakic?
12 A. From my village or my parts?
13 Q. Yes, sir.
14 A. Also known as Lalika, if that's him?
15 Q. Yes. Do you know this person?
16 A. Yes, I know him.
17 Q. Where does he live?
18 A. He lives currently in Obrenovac, but he has a house in Krtinska.
19 His mother's house is there, and he has a brother there. His street is
20 adjacent to my street.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome, unless you're going to finish
22 shortly, we'll take the break now.
23 MR. GROOME: No, Your Honour. Yes.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.23 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 10.49 a.m.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Groome.
2 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the court officer has asked for just a
3 moment to take care of some administrative things.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Mr. Groome. Your Honour, just to have
5 it reflected in the transcript, the Defence certificate is admitted as
6 2D48, marked for identification.
7 MR. GROOME:
8 Q. Sir, before the break, we were talking about a person by the name
9 of Dragoljub Stakic. My question for you is, did he live in Krtinska in
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did you see him this night?
13 A. No.
14 Q. When did you last see him?
15 A. You mean in recent days?
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. Well, I saw him driving some machinery into the base. That's
18 that last thing.
19 Q. How long ago was the last time you saw him?
20 A. Some five or six days ago.
21 Q. Now, just returning for a second to Serb holidays, another Serb
22 holiday that's celebrated very close to Holy Trinity is the feast of
23 St. George, which is celebrated on the 6th of May every year. Is that
24 not correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, earlier in your testimony, you were describing this relative
2 Zjelko Popadic who died prior to this feast of the Holy Trinity. What
3 relationship is Zjelko Popadic to Milojko Popadic?
4 A. You mean as a cousin or relative?
5 Q. Yes. What is the relationship between the two?
6 A. That is a nephew, his cousin's son.
7 Q. So Zjelko Popadic is Milojko Popadic's nephew?
8 A. Yes. Yes.
9 Q. Now, earlier today at transcript page 40, lines 7 to 8, you said:
10 "I was sitting outside on the terrace" of your house with guests. Can I
11 ask you to list for us, who were the guests that were sitting on your
12 terrace that evening when Sredoje Lukic and Milojko Popadic arrived? If
13 you remember.
14 A. Well, since it was already dusk, the kums had left. Who remained
15 was my sister with her family, waiting for the bus for Obrenovac.
16 Q. And what's your sister's name?
17 A. Liposava Kuturovic [phoen] and Kuturovic Dragan.
18 Q. And any other guests there at that time?
19 A. And her husband Kuturovic Zivota, but unfortunately he is no
20 longer with us. These were the inner circle of guests. Whoever had a
21 car had already left, and they were still waiting for the bus.
22 Q. Sir, you in part remember which Holy Trinity this was because of
23 its relationship to the start of the war. Is that not correct?
24 A. [No interpretation]
25 Q. Again, we need to have an audible answer that we can record on
1 the transcript, sir.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, the people of the former Yugoslavia have had the misfortune
4 of suffering through several wars, correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Perhaps the closest the people of Krtinska came to feeling the
7 effects of war was when a NATO bomb landed right in the village of
8 Krtinska on the 28th of March of 1999. Do you recall that event?
9 A. 28th? Well, could you repeat, please.
10 Q. Well, I won't -- let's ignore the date for a minute. Do you
11 remember a NATO bomb landing unexploded in the village of Krtinska
12 was meant for the power plant nearby, but do you remember a bomb actually
13 landing in the village in 1999?
14 A. No, no. This was later. That was 1999.
15 Q. Yes, that's what I'm talking about, in 1999. Do you recall an
16 incident where a NATO bomb landed in the village of Krtinska
17 A. Yes. It was power transmission, a line. One NATO bomb fell
18 there, yes.
19 Q. And do you also recall not too far from Krtinska, a US Stealth
20 Bomber actually crashed on the territory of Serbia
21 around the same time period?
22 A. Yes, of course. Near -- close to Sabac, across the Sava River
23 Yes, I do remember. There was a village there.
24 Q. What's your best memory as to the date when the bomb fell in
1 A. Well, it didn't fall on Krtinska. It fell in a line -- in a
2 field close to a power transmission line. As for the date, it's very
4 Q. Would you have any reason to think I'd be incorrect if I said
5 that it occurred on the 28th of March of 1999?
6 A. Which year?
7 Q. 1999.
8 A. It wasn't March. It only could have been -- well, I know I was
9 in the field planting paprikas. It only could have been in May.
10 Q. And could it have been another year other than 1999? Might I be
11 wrong about that as well?
12 A. Well, this happened during NATO's bombardment. You're not wrong.
13 I know that I was out in the field planting paprikas, together with my
14 wife, when this happened -- well, it was May, the month of May.
15 Q. Sir, if this verbal dispute did in fact occur on the first
16 celebration of Holy Trinity after the war, isn't this the war that you
17 really mean, the war that really had an effect on the village of
18 Krtinska, the bombardment in 1999?
19 A. This is not very clear to me. What did you mean by that, whether
20 we were in jeopardy? Could you please expound and explain this?
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome, I have some sympathy with the
23 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: The question wasn't very clear to me either.
25 MR. GROOME: I'll rephrase.
1 Q. Sir, you say that one of the ways you fix which Holy Trinity
2 feast day was its relationship to the war, and my suggestion to you is
3 that the war that you really remember is the war where a bomb fell not
4 far from your village in 1999, that the Holy Trinity that you're
5 referring to is really the first Holy Trinity after the NATO bombardment
6 of your village. Is that not correct?
7 A. I know what you mean and what you want to ask me. Well, the
8 beginning of something is the most tragic thing, and then people grow
9 used to their circumstances, and we did. Together with the start of the
10 war, I -- my wife lost her brother's son, I had lost my brother, so these
11 stick out in my memory. I do remember those events that you refer to,
12 but we'd grown accustomed to such events. I'm not sure whether I've made
13 myself clear.
14 Q. You have. Now, in addition to providing Mr. Sredoje Lukic with
15 an alibi for the 14th of June, you also provide one for later in the
16 month on the 27th of June. In your statement in paragraph 9, you state
17 that two weeks after the Holy Trinity celebration, the day before
18 Vidovdan celebration, Sredoje Lukic and Niko Vujicic stopped by your
19 home. Is that correct? Yes or no if you can.
20 A. You know how it is. They didn't come on Vidovdan itself. I had
21 been in contact with Sredoje Lukic before St. Vitus's Day over the phone
22 a couple of days prior to that. Prior to that, I used to slaughter pigs
23 for him and after that, as well, and this was what we had discussed.
24 Q. Sir, a lot of those details are in the statement, so I just have
25 very specific questions, and my question to you is, is that the day
1 before Vidovdan Day, it's your evidence that Sredoje Lukic and
2 Niko Vujicic came to your home, correct?
3 A. Yes. They didn't come to my home. We were in the yard.
4 Q. Now, the record records you as saying that you spoke with Sredoje
5 over the phone. I thought you had testified earlier that you did not
6 have a phone in 1992. Could you please explain?
7 A. Yes, I can. It wasn't a frequent occurrence for people to have
8 phones in the village. There were no mobile phones. There were maybe
9 one or two or three people in the village who had phones. But in my
10 company, the oil plant, I had a phone. The phone number was at the time
11 8721567, and this is the only telephone that I used at the time.
12 Q. Where was Sredoje Lukic when he was calling you or you called
13 him? Where was he located at the time you had this conversation by
15 A. I think that he was in Visegrad. I don't know, but I think that
16 he was there.
17 Q. And when did you have this telephone conversation?
18 A. Some two or three days, so if this -- the dates he was supposed
19 to fetch the meat was 27th, then it was on the 23rd or 24th that we had
20 spoken. He had asked me whether I could prepare one suckling pig for the
21 freezer, and he said that he would take it to bring home to Visegrad when
22 he would next be coming to Belgrade
23 Q. But it's your evidence that on the 23rd or 24th, Sredoje Lukic
24 called you from Visegrad and asked you to prepare a suckling pig for the
25 Vidovdan feast, yes or no?
1 A. I don't know whether it was meant for St. Vitus's day, but the
2 purpose was for him to take it with him over there.
3 Q. So he was going to come, collect this suckling pig, and bring it
4 back to Visegrad and cook it and eat it in Visegrad? That was your
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What time did Sredoje Lukic and Niko Vujicic arrive?
8 A. Well, towards the evening in the afternoon, in the afternoon
10 Q. What is your best estimate about the time?
11 A. It was summer time, late afternoon, 6, 7, maybe 6. I cannot be
13 Q. Sir, just clarifying something you just said, you said at 49,
14 line 7, that Sredoje Lukic -- I'll quote what the record says: "He said
15 that he would take it to bring home to Visegrad when he would next be
16 coming to Belgrade
17 understanding that Sredoje Lukic considered Visegrad still his home? Did
18 he use those words, I'm bringing it home to Visegrad?
19 A. Most probably, yes.
20 Q. Okay. Who else was home at the time that he came for the pig
21 which you had prepared?
22 A. At my home?
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. My wife and me. Wife and the children, but my wife and I
25 prepared the meat.
1 Q. Now, you also say in your statement which is in evidence that
2 Niko Vujicic also had his family in Obrenovac. Is that correct?
3 A. Well, I do know that they were there. I'm not close to that
4 person, Niko. I knew him through Sredoje. Maybe I saw him once or twice
5 very briefly. On that occasion, he was sitting in the car. They did not
6 go out of the car, and I had heard that he had family in a different
7 street in Obrenovac, in the town.
8 Q. Did it appear to you that Sredoje Lukic and Niko Vujicic had a
9 close relationship?
10 A. Most probably. They were driving around together.
11 Q. Did you know that Niko Vujicic was also a police officer in
13 A. I heard about that. I heard that.
14 Q. Did you also know that Niko Vujicic was also held captive at the
15 same time Sredoje Lukic was?
16 A. Yes. Yes.
17 Q. Sir, now, the Chamber is in possession of a report alleging that
18 both Sredoje Lukic and Niko Vujicic formed a paramilitary group after
19 they were released from captivity. My question to you is, other than
20 being held captive by Muslims and being tortured and everything,
21 mistreatment, is there anything else that you're aware of that occurred
22 to both of those men?
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'll just let him answer, and then you can ...
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, this was a long question.
25 Happened to them or what they did? Your question was rather long, too
1 long for me.
2 MR. GROOME:
3 Q. I'm sorry. My question to you is, are you aware of anything else
4 that happened to Niko Vujicic and Sredoje Lukic together, something
5 similar to being held captive in Visegrad?
6 A. I know that they were policemen, but after that, I don't know. I
7 can't say. There's some 200 kilometers between our two respective
9 Q. So your evidence is you're not aware of any other event other
10 than them being held captive that occurred to both Vujicic and
11 Sredoje Lukic?
12 A. I don't know. Maybe later. What I heard was that Niko was
13 wounded, but I can't tell you when. I can't specify the year. I really
14 don't know.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome, just a minute. Mr. Cepic had had a
16 point. I don't know whether he still wants to make it.
17 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour, but I think the witness
18 clarified that -- I could object. Thank you.
19 MR. GROOME:
20 Q. So, sir, again on page 51 at line 18 -- I'll read you your
21 answer. It's beginning on line 17: "I know that they were policemen,
22 but after that, I don't know. I can't say. There's some 200 kilometers
23 between our two respective cities."
24 Again, this seems to suggest that you see Sredoje Lukic as not
25 living in Krtinska but living in Visegrad. Am I correct in concluding
1 that from what you've said here?
2 A. Well, he was for a long period at home after he'd been held
3 captive and came home, thinking that he would not be returning. I can
4 explain that. In that time, he used to go to Belgrade frequently. His
5 plans were to find employment there, but as I understood it, since he
6 could not find a job in Belgrade
7 Visegrad. I don't know whether that's correct. Later on, we would see
8 each other over weekends when he would come. I don't know when he had
9 the time to come.
10 Q. Okay. So back to the preparation of the meat for Sredoje Lukic,
11 you state that the purpose of Sredoje Lukic stopping by was to tell you
12 that he would be unable to take some meat that you had in your freezer
13 and he had arranged to carry to Visegrad, correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And you say in paragraph 9 of your statement that's now in
16 evidence: "We had agreed earlier that I would prepare food for them,
17 pork, to be precise, so they could put it in a freezer and bring it to
18 their family in Visegrad." Correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Well, if Niko Vujicic has his family in Obrenovac, if
21 Sredoje Lukic has his family in Krtinska, who is the family they are
22 bringing what sounds to be quite a substantial amount of meat to in
24 A. Well, I think that Sredoje Lukic had a brother, father, mother
25 over there. Family also includes parents, not just the wife and the
2 Q. Now, a suckling pig, am I right in thinking that it's something
3 that can fit into a car? Is that correct?
4 A. Well, it was 120 kilograms reduced to 70, 80 when it was cut up.
5 Q. But it is something that would fit on either the backseat of a
6 car or in the trunk of a car. Is that not correct?
7 A. I couldn't really say. They did not stop for long, and this was
8 the point of the whole thing. I was miffed. They came and explained,
9 Brane, sorry, have you to make do with this meat because we cannot
10 transport it. Now, I have some obligations. I have some people,
11 passengers to drive. Sorry, he said. And then I was upset, thinking,
12 What am I going to do with all that meat? And he put me in a fait
13 accompli situation.
14 Q. A suckling pig, how old is the pig? How many months before a pig
15 is no longer considered a suckling pig?
16 A. 120 kilos, that is a 7- or 8-month up to one-year-old pig, 120
18 Q. And that would fit into the trunk of a car; am I not correct?
19 A. Well, he can fit.
20 Q. It can fit into the trunk of a car. Is that correct? Again, we
21 need --
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now --
24 A. Yes, it can.
25 Q. Now, you've said that Sredoje Lukic said he could not take the
1 suckling pig back to Visegrad because he had some passengers in his car,
3 A. Yes. Supposed to take that over, but I did not see at the time
4 whether there were or not, or he was supposed to pick somebody up.
5 Q. I believe you say in your statement that he took -- there were
6 two acquaintances that were supposed to also go back to Visegrad with
7 him, correct?
8 A. Well, he said that he was supposed to pick some people up.
9 Q. Okay. Now -- and he told you that he was leaving for Visegrad
10 early the next morning on Vidovdan Day, correct?
11 A. Well, whether he left immediately or on the next morning, I
12 cannot really say. They just started the engine and left. Whether they
13 went to this apartment in the street adjacent to mine, I don't know. I
14 cannot tell you -- [No interpretation]
15 Q. The interpretation stopped. Let me just wait a moment to see.
16 Is there a difficulty --
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: May I ask the interpreter whether he or she
18 wishes to have the witness conclude the sentence so we can get the end of
20 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, please.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Witness, would you please just repeat the
22 end of what you are saying. Yes, you, witness.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was saying -- I was saying I was
24 in an awkward position, not knowing what to do with the meat that he was
25 supposed to collect. I didn't know where they were going. He was
1 supposed to pay me for the meat and collect it.
2 Q. Did he ever actually then come back and pick up this meat?
3 A. Yes. Yes.
4 Q. When did he do that?
5 A. The next weekend he came, I cannot remember exactly now, but I
6 know the meat was placed in the freezer. We crammed it in there somehow,
7 and the next time he came to visit his family, he collected it.
8 Q. Well, sir, then my question to you is, if the meat wasn't for
9 Vidovdan, and you're not sure when it was that he came back to collect
10 the meat, how are you so sure that he first came to tell you he could not
11 take the meat the day before Vidovdan? Why are you so sure about that?
12 A. Well, he couldn't come the next day after St. Vitus Day because I
13 wouldn't be working. I wouldn't be open on St. Vitus Day. Nobody works.
14 It's a big holiday. That's how I remember. I remember it also because
15 he created problems for me.
16 Q. Now, sir, did you see his wife or children either this day or the
17 next day, Vidovdan Day?
18 A. The next day.
19 Q. You did see his wife. Where did you see his wife?
20 A. Around where she lives, my second house. My wife or I would
21 regularly go there once or twice a day because we had some animals there,
22 a small farm that I kept up. I sold animals to complement my salary.
23 The salaries were very low at that time.
24 Q. Now, when he came to your house to tell you that he was not
25 taking the meat, did he mention to you where he was earlier in the day?
1 A. He didn't tell me anything then, not where he had been or where
2 he was going, but when we talked on the phone, he told me he was supposed
3 to come to Belgrade
4 Q. How was he dressed when he came?
5 A. You mean in civilian clothes or in -- he was in civilian clothes.
6 Summer clothes.
7 Q. Now, sir, we made a request of your government for your criminal
8 record, and we were provided with the information about two prior
9 convictions that you have. They are some years ago, so I don't want to
10 spend too much time on them, but I do want to ask you a question about --
11 a very brief question about them. The first is an offense entitled,
12 "Serious criminal offenses against public safety causing the death of one
13 or more persons and damaging of safety equipment at working sites out of
14 negligence," in violation of Article 194, paragraph 4, and Article 189,
15 paragraph 3, of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Serbia
16 conviction was on the 4th of April, 1984.
17 Am I correct in concluding from the title of the conviction that
18 a person died as a result of your conduct? Yes.
19 A. It is difficult to talk about, but it was not a fatality that was
20 involved. I was responsible just as manager in that factory. The man
21 stepped on a conveyor belt that was not properly installed. The
22 maintenance service did not install it properly, and it ripped his leg
23 off. I was given a two-year suspended sentence. That man is not dead.
24 He's still alive. He works as a receptionist in my company. That's the
25 real truth.
1 Q. Okay. I accept that. Sir, you -- the record also says that you
2 served a sentence of five months' imprisonment and then were placed on
3 two years of parole. Is that true?
4 A. Correct. I said suspended sentence. I did not serve the
5 sentence, but if something had happened on top of it, then I would have.
6 I was really convicted, although I had nothing to do with the incident,
7 but still I --
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Cepic, do you have something?
9 MR. CEPIC: Sometimes I have a feeling that my learned friend
10 Mr. Groome doesn't know the system of sanctions in my country. Witness
11 already clarified that. But witness already clarified that. Thank you.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Why don't you educate him privately?
13 MR. CEPIC: I'll try that. I'll try that.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome, you're coming to an end now?
15 MR. GROOME: I'm not too -- just one and a half more pages,
16 Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: One and a half more pages. Now, I neglected to
18 say at the outset that in the last session, if there is one, my two
19 colleagues will be sitting under 15 bis to allow me to carry out other
20 duties. And in fact, I was hoping to finish at 12 to give myself some
21 time for preparation.
22 MR. GROOME: I certainly will be finished with this witness
23 before that time, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
25 MR. GROOME:
1 Q. Sir, the second conviction is from the 18th of November, 1993
2 during the war, and the conviction was for a violation of Article 161,
3 paragraph 2, entitled, "Forest
4 cut." In this case, the information we were provided indicated that you
5 were sentenced to three months with a two-year period of parole. Is it
6 correct that this conviction arises from illegal logging activities that
7 you were engaged in?
8 A. There is some truth in that. I cut my own trees, which were not
9 registered. Those were my trees. When the ranger came, he seized the
10 timber and I was punished because I had not registered it. It was my
11 wood up to the Sava River
12 registered it. It was safe to log, but ...
13 Q. Okay. I'm finished with that line of inquiry. And I want to ask
14 you, your first meeting with Mr. Cepic was arranged by Mr. Popadic. Is
15 that not correct?
16 A. Well, I don't know whether he arranged it. I saw Cepic in that
17 yard, the yard of my parents where Sredoje used to live. Now I'm
18 building a small workshop there. Popadic was coming up, and there was a
19 man with him. That man said, I am the Defence counsel of Sredoje Lukic,
20 could I talk to you please, and that's how we met. And in the
21 conversation, it came up that he asked me, Did Sredoje used to live here?
22 I said yes, and so on.
23 Q. And that was in the summer of 2007, correct?
24 A. Yes. August, I think.
25 Q. And they met you in front of your home?
1 A. In the yard of the house where Sredoje used to live, my second
3 Q. Now, once Mr. Popadic introduced Mr. Cepic to you, he didn't
4 leave. He remained there when you spoke with Mr. Cepic. Is that not
6 A. Well, I cannot tell you exactly. I think Popadic went to see my
7 son and the workers who were busy a bit further down setting up some nets
8 and I don't know what. I think Cepic and I were talking on our own.
9 Q. The statement that is now in evidence is dated the 5th of
10 January, 2008. Do you remember giving it?
11 A. This year, yes. Yes, the 5th, between Christmas and New Year.
12 Q. The other witness statements are dated in November 2007. Was
13 there a reason that you were unavailable to, well, give a statement until
14 January 2008?
15 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
17 MR. CEPIC: How could this witness know where other witnesses
18 gave the statement?
19 MR. GROOME: I'm asking him whether he was unavailable.
20 MR. CEPIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... base for this question.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: The question that was asked was, was there a
22 reason that you were unavailable to give a statement in January 2008. Is
23 that the question you're --
24 MR. GROOME: The question is, Your Honour, whether he was
25 unavailable prior to January of 2008 to give a statement.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, so what's the problem with that?
2 MR. CEPIC: Yes, but Mr. Groome also quoted that other witnesses
3 gave the statements in November, why you did not give the statement in
4 November? This is ...
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, but the question is, was there a reason why
6 you were unavailable to give a statement until January 2008. Can you
7 answer that, Witness?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can. I have huge obligations,
9 the farming, the work, the shop, caring for my child, health concerns, et
10 cetera. When you put all that together, he - that's true - called and
11 tried several times to make an appointment, but I couldn't make it, and
12 then on the 5th of January, I went to see him. He did -- he had called
13 me in November or December, I don't know, asking me to come over, and I
14 couldn't make it then. But when the season, the working season had
15 already passed, that's when I could make it.
16 MR. GROOME:
17 Q. Do you -- who was present when you gave your statement in January
19 A. The lawyer, Mr. Cepic, in his office.
20 Q. Now, on the 5th of June, 2008, my investigator had made an
21 appointment to interview you. Do you remember that appointment being
23 A. I do.
24 Q. And after they interviewed the person just before you, I believe
25 it was Mr. Popadic, we were informed that you would not be coming to the
1 interview. Why did you not come to the interview that had been arranged?
2 A. Well, a moment ago I tried to explain that I have a great
3 workload. It was the season where I had a lot of work, and I was not in
4 the greatest of health at that time. The doctor had sent me to make an
5 EKG, and I took a long time, and when I came back home, my children told
6 me that somebody had asked for me on the phone. I thought they would
7 call back the next day or the day after, but they did not.
8 Q. So is the reason that you did not come for that scheduled
9 interview because you had too much work or because you were ill?
10 A. Well, I was a bit ill, and perhaps it's my fault I didn't
11 understand it that seriously. I thought, Who would ever want me,
12 Branko Bugarski, to come to The Hague
13 me. I did not really understand the matter. It's entirely my fault.
14 Q. Okay. We were told that you were experiencing a heart problem
15 along with high blood pressure and that you would be unavailable for a
16 period of days to be interviewed. That's what we were told. Is that
18 A. Most probably, yes, and even now if you took my blood pressure,
19 it would be 120, 115 at least.
20 Q. Sir, at the beginning of my examination of you I asked you about
21 your health, and you said aside from the high blood pressure, you were in
22 good health. So was this the first time you had a problem with your
23 heart, the day of this interview?
24 A. No. I hadn't properly understood you. I thought you meant
25 whether I'm feeling fine now. Maybe I misunderstood, but there are
1 enough documents as far as that is concerned.
2 Q. Sir, the last line of questioning that I have for you has to do
3 with the media coverage that surrounded this case, and what I want to
4 explore with you is, why -- if you knew this information and you were
5 good friends with Sredoje Lukic, why did it take so long for you to come
6 forward with information that could have helped exonerate an innocent
8 A. Well, I do feel guilty about that. I hadn't really understood it
10 Q. So you were aware of the many media articles and television shows
11 that covered not only this case because the Vasiljevic case which deals
12 with some similar events. You were aware of the media coverage and that
13 Sredoje Lukic was accused of some very serious crimes?
14 A. Well, the media are the media.
15 Q. But you were aware from the media that Sredoje Lukic was charged
16 with crimes, that he had been arrested, that there was some consideration
17 of sending the case to Bosnia
18 media, were you not?
19 A. Well, yes, but I hadn't understood that it was really the way it
20 was and that I can be of any help. But later, I understood.
21 Q. And who was the first person to make you understand that what you
22 had information about could help Sredoje Lukic?
23 A. Well, as Cepic came and made inquiries, from that time on I
24 started thinking that it's a serious matter -- I mean, at first I --
25 that's the first time I understood it, really. Until then, I was too
1 involved in my work.
2 Q. How many times did you speak with Mr. Popadic about this case?
3 A. With Popadic about this case? He is a haulier. He often travels
4 chasing income. I am trying to make ends meet in another way.
5 Q. Sir, my question is very specific. How many times have you
6 spoken to Mr. Popadic about this case?
7 A. Well, from time to time when we were in contact sometimes, I
8 can't tell you now how many times.
9 Q. Once a week? Once a month?
10 A. Perhaps we saw each other once a month. My wife went to see them
11 more often. In winter, possibly we could see each other more often than
12 in the summer.
13 Q. And would you discuss with him your account of these events from
14 June of 1992?
15 A. Maybe -- I don't know. Maybe we talked. I asked him if he
16 remembered that Sredoje had come. I mean, it was recently, and he
17 said -- I don't know. Who can remember all these things?
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome, you must be bringing the
19 cross-examination to an end now.
20 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. Just a couple of more questions.
21 Q. When you asked him if he remembered that Sredoje had come, what
22 did he say?
23 A. He wasn't able to tell me. He couldn't answer me because he
24 wasn't at home. He's always on the road; he's a haulier. And why would
25 I have to ask him when I know myself that it was on the eve of a great
1 holiday, Vidovdan, St. Vitus Day? It's a big deal for us.
2 Q. Did you travel here to The Hague with Mr. Popadic?
3 A. By plane, yes. We did.
4 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Cepic.
6 MR. CEPIC: Maybe just a few questions, Your Honour, with your
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just before you ask the questions. Witness, I'm
9 not sure whether you understood the line of questioning from the
10 Prosecutor, but let me make it plain to you that what the Prosecutor is
11 saying is that your whole evidence is nothing but a tissue of lies and
12 that you are lying because Sredoje Lukic is your friend. What do you say
13 to that?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What can I answer to that? It's
15 not true that it's a tissue of lies.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Have you come here to lie to protect your
17 friend? Because remember, you took an oath. You made a declaration to
18 speak the truth.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And nothing but the truth. In a
20 few days, I'll turn 60. I would not have come here to tell lies. I know
21 this man as a good man, a sociable man, always ready to share a good
22 joke. I never knew him as a criminal. It's only for that reason that I
23 made this long journey. I have many things to do in my life. I don't
24 want to lie. I have my family. I have children. I have grandchildren.
25 That's a hard thing to say.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues]
2 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour, no questions.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, that concludes your evidence. Let me
4 just explain that I'm not saying that you're lying. I haven't reached
5 the stage in the proceedings where I have to make a decision on that.
6 I'm explaining to you what the Prosecutor was trying to say. I'm putting
7 it to you very bluntly and squarely that what he was saying is that the
8 whole thing, your whole evidence is nothing but a concoction, a
9 fabrication, and you have said, No, it is not. Is that right?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what to say. You told
11 me that I'm lying.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, no. I didn't tell you that you are lying.
13 What I told you is that the effect of the cross-examination is a
14 suggestion that you're lying. I am not yet at the stage of the
15 proceedings where I have to make a decision as to whether you're a
16 witness of truth or whether you're telling lies. But what the
17 cross-examiner, what the Prosecutor was in effect saying to you, although
18 he didn't put it as bluntly as I have, is that your whole evidence is
19 fabricated in order to protect your friend, and you have said no.
20 So we'll leave it at that, and I thank you on behalf of the
21 Chamber for coming to the Tribunal. You have come from far. I thank you
22 for coming to give evidence. It is now over, and you may now leave.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can I just say one thing? It's the
24 first time in my life that somebody's telling me in my face I'm lying.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: You did not understand me, but let us leave it
1 at that. You may now leave.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 MR. CEPIC: If I may add, Your Honour, about the word "lying," in
4 our law system, I had very long discussion with Honourable Judge Bonomy
5 in a previous case about that matter. Because in our country, if you say
6 to someone -- if you say to someone that he's lying, of course, the
7 witness did not understand in the proper way, maybe, maybe, but in our
8 system it's completely different. So I can speak about that hours and
9 hours, and as I said, I had discussion about that issue in the previous
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Why is it different? Explain to me.
12 MR. CEPIC: In a court is not allowed to say to someone that he's
13 lying, firstly, in procedure. It is strictly forbidden.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: And that's part of your -- that's part of the
15 legal system in Yugoslavia
16 MR. CEPIC: Yes, precisely and very strictly. And one of the
17 worst word if you're going to say to someone is that he is a liar or she
18 is a liar, and even if you find that in a judgement, you know, you're
19 using the word --
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, it's precisely opposite in the adversarial
21 system. It's common practice at the end of a cross-examination, such as
22 that which was conducted very vigorously by Mr. Groome, to put to the
23 witness that your whole evidence is nothing but a tissue of lies. That's
24 Mr. Groome's case, and so I was putting it to him, that that is what
25 Mr. Groome was in fact saying, that he's not a witness of truth, but
1 perhaps that is a more sanitized way of putting it.
2 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, I'm familiar with that.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. You're familiar with it now.
4 MR. CEPIC: No, I'm completely confident that my witness speaks
5 the truth --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Cepic, please speak into the mic.
7 MR. CEPIC: I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm completely confident
8 about my witness. Hundred per cent confident.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Of course. Of course you are.
10 MR. CEPIC: But in relation to that issue, I just tried to give
11 some clarification --
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, I heard that before that in many civil law
13 countries, it's not proper to put to the witness that he's lying. I
14 won't comment on that.
15 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Our next -- could we go to
16 private session, please?
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Private session, yes.
18 [Private session]
11 Pages 3769-3770 redacted. Private session.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 11.54 a.m.
4 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 9th day of
5 December, 2008, at 8.50 a.m.